DID YOU KNOW?
The "spark" made by your spark plug is like a tiny bolt of lightning; it's that powerful. Each time it sparks, a wee bit of material is lost from the electrodes. Over the millions and millions of sparks that happen over the thousands of miles you drive, enough material is lost from the spark plug to affect its performance. That's one reason they need to be replaced. At The Village Garage Inc in Odessa we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 813.852.2234 and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.
For most of us, it is hard to remember life without power steering – cranking those great big steering wheels? It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine – a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.
These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea to inspect them at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owners’ manual for the right type – or just ask your service technician.
The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so it needs to be replaced from time to time. Many manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your service center will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.
Here are some warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It’s harder to turn the wheel, there’s erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your pump real fast.
Other steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks. Ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear, and off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check will reveal bent or damaged steering components.
Most SUV’s, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.
The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. It’s also recommend the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners’ manual maintenance schedule. It’s usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water, the bearings will need service more often.
DID YOU KNOW?
They say timing is everything. That's doubly true when it comes to your timing belt. First, your timing belt keeps your valves operating in time with your engine so that it runs properly. Second, if you replace your timing belt on schedule, you'll likely avoid the downtime and expense that can result from a broken or slipping timing belt. At The Village Garage Inc in Odessa we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 813.852.2234 and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.
Let's address a very important maintenance item for everyone in Odessa FL – timing belt replacement. It's important because letting this one slide can lead to very expensive engine damage.
Your timing belt choreographs the timing of your combustion process. Your pistons travel up and down in the cylinder. Intake valves open at the right time to let in air and fuel, they close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn and then the exhaust valves open at the right time to let out the exhaust.
All this happens thousands of times a minute and it's your timing belt that makes sure the valves are opening and closing at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won't run. And that's the best case.
The worst case is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars.
Now, timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual or with your service advisor at The Village Garage Inc in Odessa FL to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. If you've never replaced your timing belt and have 60,000 or more miles on the clock, talk with your Odessa service advisor at The Village Garage Inc right away to see if you're due.
On some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt as opposed to the serpentine belt. If that's the case, it's a good idea to replace the water pump when you're replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected and possibly replaced.
Now, replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive routine maintenance items on your service schedule. But not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you're likely to ever have.